Filip Hronek was happy in Detroit and looking forward to growing with the Red Wings through their rebuild, according to an interview with writer Pavel Ryšavy in Monday’s edition of iSport.cz in Czechia.
Hronek was traded to the Canucks on March 1st with a 2023 4th-round draft pick, two days before the NHL trade deadline, for a conditional 1st-round pick and a 2nd round pick in 2023.
“You don’t even know what business is cooking, I had absolutely no signs that anything was going on,” Hronek told Ryšavy. “It all happened very quickly. As a result, I had the advantage of being injured and not having to fly that day. So then you have time to pack, at least that’s some kind of bonus.”
Hronek’s shoulder injury kept him out of the Canucks line-up for all but four games. He picked up his first and only Vancouver point, an assist, against the Stars in Dallas on March 25th in a 3-1 Canucks victory. He and the club then agreed that rather than take chances in the closing days of a lost season, it was best to shut him down, fully recover the tweaked shoulder, and be ready for the fall.
The 25-year-old righty was having his best season as a Red Wing statistically in 2022-’23, with 38 points in 60 games before the injury. That matched the 38 points he had in 78 total games the season before.
“”I would like to win a lot, I was looking forward to it the whole time we were rebuilding in Detroit,” Hronek said. “The fact is, I felt really good. I had a great summer preparation a year ago, everything fit together.”
Hronek never made the Stanley Cup playoffs as a Red Wing. He pointed out that being in the west, instead of seeing his former Czech world junior teammate David Pastrnak of the Bruins, he’ll be battling more with Connor McDavid of the Oilers instead.
He conveyed that the adjustment to the Canucks lockerroom for this next full season should be easy.
“I already know the guys, the team hasn’t changed much,” Hronek stated. “It’s an advantage that the trade was agreed to during the (last) season. There’s nothing to be stressed about.”
So why the deal to move a righthanded defenceman entering his prime and having his best season? The Czech writer tried to figure out the answer, printing the interview in mostly a Q and A format.
“Okay, but isn’t it a paradox that the club will send you on in the season when you are having your best year in the NHL?” Ryšavy asked.
“Maybe Detroit got such an offer and it couldn’t be refused,” Hronek responded. “One team will tell you at that moment that they really want you, but then there is the one that is selling.”
One or two persons close to the situation intimated to Vancouver Hockey Insider that there may have been chemistry issues. Maybe this decision was a “cultural” one for Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman, as in dressing room culture.
The Red Wings added two Swedes, right-shot D-man Axel Sandin-Pellika and left winger Felix Nilsson with the Canucks draft picks they received. Vancouver selected lefty forward Ty Mueller from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with the pick they received from Detroit.
Hronek enters the final year of a three-year contract that he signed in Detroit with a salary cap hit of $4.4-million.
“I was surprised, but these things belong to hockey,” Hronek concluded. “It happened, it was meant to be. There is no point in thinking about it again.’
((Editor’s note: Hronek’s remarks were translated from Czech))
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